Parameters of nicotine titration in addicted and non-addicted cigarette smokers

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Nicotine titration was studied in cigarette smokers not interested in cutting down or quitting smoking. Forty smokers were classified as high nicotine dependent (n=20) and low nicotine dependent (n=20) using a validated tolerance questionnaire. Subjects were randomized into baseline (n=10) or nicotine fade conditions (n=10) within their dependency group. Subjects in the baseline conditions smoked their preferred brand of cigarette throughout the experiment. Smokers in the fade conditions switched to a reduced nicotine brand in the latter half of the procedure.

Multiple in vivo and in vitro measures of smoking rate and topography were collected over a four day period. Based on analyses of these data, it was concluded that no compensatory changes in smoking behavior occurred that were clearly attributable to nicotine titration. It was found that smokers classified as high nicotine dependent smoked more intensively that low dependent smokers.

The implications of these findings given the design and experimental controls employed in this experiment are discussed, and directions for future research explored.